Support Available to Utility Customers with High Amounts of Debt
During SRP’s seven-month COVID-19 moratorium on power disconnects, SRP helped many customers devise payment plan solutions and find access to utility assistance funds. Some utility customers still accumulated high amounts of debt towards their energy usage. Starting this October, many began paying down past-due balances by getting on eight-month payment plans or customized payment arrangements. SRP’s ban on disconnects continues for customers on its price plan for limited-income households – the Economy Price Plan or “EPP” – until early 2021, and for certain EPP customers, utility bill debt may continue to accrue through the end of the year.
Wildfire and SRP have been working with community members who have accrued unsustainable debt during the pandemic by connecting them with Community Action Agencies offering utility assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and additional COVID-19 relief funds. The goal is to help these residents receive assistance now – including on rent and essential needs – before the holidays, and before funds run low and more financial-support requests come streaming in at the end of the year.
Since the beginning of October 2020, to date, nearly 3,000 SRP customers have received over 3,000 assistance payments from SRP and its community partners totaling nearly $2 million.
INTERVIEWS & VISUALS:
Wildfire & Community Action Agencies
- Leaders at Arizona-based Community Action Agencies.
- Cynthia Zwick, Executive Director at Wildfire – formerly the Arizona Community Action Association – can discuss which Arizona-based Community Action Agencies have available LIHEAP and COVID-19 relief funds, and how residents get connected to support. She can also address:
- How unsustainable debt on utility bills can lead to more serious situations like eviction and homelessness.
- Residents impacted by the pandemic, including those who have never dealt with financial strain before.
- Information on available bill assistance.
- SRP English- and Spanish-speaking experts can speak to current customer debt and the process of connecting customers to available community assistance.
- SRP customers who recently received financial assistance on their utility bills who live in Mesa, Phoenix, Avondale and other cities.
- Downloadable images below of SRP Call Center representatives.
SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP also is the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 800,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.